March 26, 2012
A Message from Dean Sossin
Dean’s Formal Pictures
Cooking Kyle’s Cod Conclusion
pgs. 8 - 9
“The definitive source for Osgoode news”
Editorial The Soundtrack to My Law School Experience
Osgoode Hall Law School, 0014G York University 4700 Keele Street Toronto, ON M3J 1P3 Tel. 416.736.2100 x77527 Fax. 416.736.5736 E-mail. ObiterDicta@osgoode.yorku.ca Website. www.obiter-dicta.ca
“I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve ... this is the END. I am going. I am leaving NOW. GOOD-BYE!” - Bilbo Baggins Editors-in-Chief: Cassie Burt-Gerrans, Andrew Monkhouse, Jennifer O’Dell Sponsorship Manager: Rory Wasserman Business Manager: Kristina Bliakharsky Osgoode News Editor: Kyle Rees Opinions Editor: Nick Van Duyvenbode Arts & Culture Editor: Nancy Situ News Editor: Hassan Ahmad Sports Editor: Joe Marcus Staff Writers: Dave Shellnutt, RJ Wallia, Burton Taylor, Travis Weagant, Eric Marques Contributors: Kalev Anniko, Wax Faterson Layout Editors: Julia Vizzaccaro, Harjot Atwal, Nancy Situ, Devin Santos Photography: Harjot Atwal Website Editors: Nancy Situ, Cassie Burt-Gerrans
Articles are due at 2 p.m. on the Wednesday before date of publication. The appropriate maximum length for articles is 1200 words. Please submit articles in Microsoft Word format via e-mail attachment to obiterdicta@osgoode. yorku.ca. Please attach photographs separately; do not include them in your Word document. The Obiter Dicta is the official student newspaper of Osgoode Hall Law School. The opinions expressed in the articles contained herein are not necessarily those of the Obiter staff. The Obiter reserves the right to refuse any submission that is judged to be libelous or defamatory, contains personal attacks, or is discriminatory on the basis of sex, race, religion, or sexual orientation. Submissions may be edited for length and/or content. The Obiter Dicta is published weekly during the school year, and is printed by Weller Publishing Co. Ltd.
This. is. it. Wow. 3 years ago, I started working for the Obiter Dicta, doing layout between classes, and it blows my mind that this is my last issue ever. It’s even crazier to me that my time at school is almost done. Like some of my fellow writers in this paper, I wanted to write a piece on my time at Osgoode Hall. You know, something reflective, that was also kind of funny and epic. But how do I sum up 3 years here? It seems only fitting, as a former Obiter music columnist (the Rock Snobs of the World Unite series from 2010 - 2011) that I sum up my time here via song. And so, I give to you dear reader, the soundtrack to my law school experience. First Year: Lady Gaga’s “Just Dance” Oh, first year. What an exciting, but mostly terrifying time. Maybe terrifying is too strong a word, but I was definitely wracked with anxiety for most of first year, particularly first year, first semester. It was an uneasy time. I was learning to do the work, was faced with an absurd amount of readings, and had no idea whether I was doing any of this law school thing “right”. As an aside, I know now that I’m not doing this whole law school thing right – you know, doing readings ahead of time, not cramming last second, not writing 30 page papers in a day – but I’m also cool with it. Anyway, first year was an anxious time, but it was also a good time. By the time first year was over, I had made a ton of new friends. I picked Lady Gaga’s “Just Dance” because I remember dancing my face off to that with some of my law buddies the last time I was ever at Dance Cave (oh how I miss you DC). It’s also an appropriate song because I had to tell myself a lot during first year, “it’s going to be okay… do do do do do, just dance.” And by dance, I meant “read my textbooks”. Second Year: The Antler’s Hospice What does an album about an abusive relationship that begins in a hospice between a caregiver and his patient have to do with second year? Nothing. Except that I listened to this album an absurd amount of times. Oh, and that I discovered it on the subway one day heading up to campus. I have a habit of picking up a ton of albums I want to listen to, listening to half and then forgetting about the rest. “Shiva” from this album came up randomly on the TTC. I immediately listened to the rest of the album and reviewed it for the Obiter. Second year was fun. Made new friends, took some great classes, worked for the Obiter. Rinse, lather, repeat. Every Exam Period: Telepopmusik’s “Breathe” I have a ritual during exams. Like most
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people, it involves cramming and eating shitty food. But, right before I write any exam, I listen to Telepopmusik’s “Breathe”. I find exams particularily stressful, and since undergrad, I’ve found this song to be helpful. It’s chill and basically tells me over and over again to “just breathe”. Being an Editor-in-Chief for the Obiter Dicta: Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes’s “Home” You know in Radiohead’s “Black Star” where Thom Yorke screams at the top of his lungs, “this is killing me?” Well, running the Obiter occasionally felt like that. Being an Editor-in-Chief for the Obiter is frankly, a lot of work. There were fires we had to put out almost every other week. There’s all the editing, the layout-ing, the being on campus past 10 pm-ing. But would I do it all again? HELL YES. At the end of the day, the Obiter Dicta has been a creative outlet and a much needed fun activity that I appreciate particularly during times when I feel smothered by case law. It was a way for me to be involved in the Osgoode community, for the last 3 years. The Obiter has been my “home” here on campus (Edward Sharpe’s song tie in achieved). There was a lot during law school that I didn’t feel passionate about, but I’ve loved working for the Obiter Dicta. On a personal level, I just want to this time to again thank all the wonderful staff at the Obiter Dicta who made this year’s paper possible. I heart you so very, very much. And Jenn O’Dell, you are my better half. Third Year: Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” “Don’t stop believing. Hold on to that feeling.” It’s very appropriate. I can’t believe this is all coming to an end. I know when I’m much older, I’ll look back on my time at Osgoode fondly. But there’s something about now, about this moment, that I do want to hold on to. Maybe it’s because this is likely the last time I’m going to be in school. Maybe it’s because I feel young and idealistic and I’m pretty certain the working world is going to beat that out of me. Or maybe it’s because I’ve had a lot of fun here. I’m ready to move on, but I don’t want to forget what it was like to be a twenty-something in law school. I’ve learned a LOT and had a great time simultaneously. It’s been an amazing experience, mostly thanks to the wonderful people I’ve been able to meet along the way. So, that’s it folks. Good-bye, farewell and amen*. Signing off, one last time, - Cassie Burt-Gerrans * That is a nerdy M*A*S*H reference. Yup. the OBITERdicta
Letter to the Editor Is our law library an open resource for every member of the Osgoode community? Apparently not. Who would have thought that our law library was being used to store books that students are banned from reading! After a request for an accompanying instructor’s manual to Bruce Ziff ’s first-year text A Property Law Reader was made by a student this past week, the library bureaucracy responded in kind: “I’m sorry, but we are unable to let you view the text. It is the author’s specific request that that this Instructor’s Manual not be made available to students...(f)or both professional and regulatory (copyright) reasons, we are obliged to respect the author’s request.”
Should students be so firmly denied access to resources that are directly related to their courses? Can there really be such serious state secrets contained within an instructor’s manual that students should be prevented from consulting it? It hardly seems appropriate that the law library should deny access to resources that will help students understand their course materials better. The library should reject any policy that restricts only certain members of the Osgoode community from examining its holdings. This is unfair and counterproductive to a fair and open institution of legal education. - Chris Los
Osgoode News Re: Precedent Editorial KALEV ANNIKO Contributor While sitting in the Junior Common Room at Osgoode Hall, I accidently picked up the latest copy of Precedent. I came across the main editorial, and, given its insensitive and misspelled headline “Slavishy Distracted”, an editorial replying to the reaction of Osgoode students to a misguided advertisement that appeared in the Obiter Dicta, I marked the page with a finger, skimmed a few more pages, and again saw what looked like a jab at the “Slavies” debate, and marked it with another finger. Then, upon completing a scan of the magazine (which included a call for input for an upcoming article about self-care in the profession, and a “what’s your most memorable drink?” lawyer photo-diary,) I returned to see what was said. On the slim chance that you did not read the latest Precedent, the editorial made two points: 1. Osgoode students are mistaken to take issue with the “Slavies” ad because it means not paying attention to other important issues, such as the omnibus crime bill, which Precedent is fearlessly reporting on by sug gesting it is only one of many right approaches to crime; 2. Davies should be applauded for their attempt at irreverence. While Davies themselves have issued an apology for what was most likely an honest yet ignorant attempt to poke fun at their reputation for hard work, Precedent appears to believe they were wrong to apologize. After all, as the editor argues, the magazine tries to be irreverent too, and it is hard (if one seeks proof of this, look no further than the claim that Osgoode students the OBITERdicta
took issue with the ad because of their preference for the term ‘indentured servitude’ only five pages later in the same issue). Beyond that, Osgoode students, by focusing on things that are important to them, are distracted from other more important issues. I can forgive a person for being careless or narrow-minded or insensitive, and I can understand an editor thinking that it is solely they who evaluate the significance of things in the world, but the claim that our school is distracted from important issues, like Bill C-10, fails to notice that our newspapers reporting of the issue predates Precedent’s. The open forum and referendum that took place at our school seem to be at least evidence of the student body’s ability to both walk and chew gum at the same time when it comes to important social and legal issues, and to address the ones they see as significant. The suggestion by the editor that they cannot is foolish, ignores reality, and adds nothing to the substance of the discussion surrounding the ad. The reason this editorial is concerning however is not the wide reach and substantial influence of Precedent’s editorials. It is that students are being patronized and disregarded for taking something seriously, and as soon-to-be articles and lawyers who are likely to end up gracing the photo-diary sections of magazines like Precedent, we have a duty to shape and consider the community we are entering into and sustaining by being critical and empathetic about who we are as individuals and as a broader group. The dismissive, poorly researched editorial in Precedent is at best without value, and at worst, harmful. The discourse within the legal community should at least regard the concerns of its members, if not match their commitment to social awareness and justice.
A Message From Dean Sossin With an eventful academic term and year winding down, I want to take this opportunity to offer this final message. It certainly seems like more than a mere 7 months ago when the Osgoode community returned to the newly renovated building. The sense of excitement and relief to have all of our faculty, staff and students under one roof, and light pouring in the new JCR, Bistro, and Library windows, all contributed to making this year particularly special. The memories of our Building Celebration last October will stay with all those who were a part of it for many years to come. What made this year so memorable, however, was not the building but the people in it, and their accomplishments. I am amazed at the breadth and depth of student leadership at Osgoode this year, from an intense year at Faculty Council and its committees, to a moving series to tributes to the legacy of Wendy Babcock, the launch of the LAWS Program, great engagement in the community through OPIR, a sensational Mock Trial, a year of significant achievement in mooting, a vibrant year for our clinics, and intensive programs, a myriad of terrific student contribution to Blogs, the Obiter and Journals, inspired and inspiring panels, new initiatives connecting students and alumni, and a host of other signature social, sports and club events (and this just scratches the surface). There of course have been challenges this year as well, and we have come together to deal with those as a community. As someone who graduated from Osgoode exactly 20 years ago (I am particularly grateful to those small number of you who just read that and just exclaimed “but how is that possible - he looks so young!”), I am always struck by which aspects of the Law School experience stay with you. For me, and I hope for you, it was a sense that what we study, discuss and debate and what we do while we’re here matters - both to who we are individually and institutionally - and to the potential more broadly for law to lead to justice. The other part of the Law School experience that endures are the friendships forged during this period - while the legal community seemed vast then (and no doubt appears vaster still now), the experience of collegiality, support and sense of community I found at Osgoode has proven invaluable in all the settings I’ve worked since. My only regret is that I still have not found a way to drop the Rule against Perpetuities into a casual conversation. Osgoode continues to be defined by the unparalleled excellence and diversity of our academic program, and by the committed and caring faculty and staff who breathe life into that program, and by the students who embody our pride and passion. So, 2011-2012 is not just another academic year at Osgoode, but a remarkable year of achievement to celebrate! I wish all of you a successful end of term and a safe and enjoyable summer. monday - march 26 - 2012
Isolation At Osgoode RJ WALLIA Staff Writer On March 8th, the JCR was host venue to an amazing event. It was part fundraiser and part memorial to Wendy Babcock, a student at Osgoode who fought for social justice issues within her community and a fierce friend for many at this school. It was a magnificent event where everyone was able to enjoy amazing performances by their fellow students, some of who went out of their comfort zones in order to do something great for a worthwhile cause. One of the things that stuck with me, apart from the performances, was something said by one of the organizers. Jenn Aubrey was relating to all of us about how she has felt alone at Osgoode and this was the first time she felt included in the school atmosphere. There was a couple of things that struck me about that statement. First, I was concerned that someone was feeling so isolated at Osgoode that it took an event as amazing as this to bring this to light. The second thing was, I knew Jenn wasn’t alone in thinking this. I have spoken to a few students, one even that evening, who feel that they are not a part of the school spirit, or community, or however you wish to characterize it. The fact of the matter is that there are people in this school who feel excluded. I mentioned this to some people and I noticed the commentary and questions that came up were pretty consistent. People often asked, “I wonder why they are isolated?” or “I wonder what they can do to feel more included?”. This struck me as rather odd as this wasn’t the questioning I was thinking of. Why are we asking people how they should include themselves more? The real question is, what are we doing that makes people feel excluded? Or at least, not welcome? There are some individuals who do not want to be included in a group setting and that is perfectly valid. However, there are a great deal of people who are feeling on the outside and yet wish to be part of the general whole. Moreover, this problem seems to be increasing, as we now talk about mental health issues and related concerns more than ever before, one has to wonder what has changed? The workload is the same, the job scenario still sucks, and generally the people are fairly similar. What could it be? For me, I feel that with the new building and the new utilities came many benefits. We have a central space, we have a building to work and relax in, and we have a place to congregate. This has increased an overall sense of community at this school. It’s visible when you see people hanging out in the JCR, or frequenting the monday - march 26 - 2012
library, or utilizing a host of other areas now. We now can actually point to things that exemplify Osgoode life that we couldn’t before. Before, all we had were some classrooms. We had to create an Osgoode lifestyle that was, by nature, fluid and transient. While this change is good, I argue that it also has had an unintended consequence. By having something exist which we could point to to represent the Osgoode community, we also gave rise to a symbol of something to be excluded from. It’s all well and good to see people of similar interests engaging with one another, particularly over a pint of beer or over some food in the bistro. But if you start to notice that you are on the outside of a few different groups or activities, you now have something to look at and wonder about your own place at Osgoode. In essence, my argument is that now that we have a tangible form of Osgoode community, we are unfortunately excluding some people from it. This is not a conscious effort by any means, and typically the people at Osgoode are engaging and friendly. However, there does appear to be this idea now that involving yourself in certain activities is something that makes you part of the general group. We encourage these activities wholeheartedly by providing
them with resources and facilitating their easy existence. But perhaps we may have left groups and others on the side who don’t necessarily value those activities at the same level as others. As to how to fix this problem, to be honest, I think it will pass somewhat with time. I think we are going through the growing pains of a new building and with it, a new identity. As things start to become more established, the idea of an Osgoode community and identity will grow and diversify with each student who is brought to the school. But for the upcoming years, I believe you have something to consider as well. When trying to find ways of making the Osgoode experience a bit more broad and all encompassing, try to remember that the events and activities that occur need to be equally as broad. The school is growing and a new influx of individuals come through those doors every year. We should not make things more difficult for someone to integrate. Law school is hard enough as it is. We should remember that with the many voices we have, sometimes, we should listen to those who are the quietest and not unintentionally drown them out as the wave of the majority washes over them.
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A Spy In The House Of Osgoode: Cultural Learnings Of Toronto For Make Benefit Glorious Nation Of Newfoundland KYLE REES Osgoode News Editor Guys, I have a confession to make. And now that it’s the last issue of Obiter, I feel safe doing so. I have been, and am currently, a spy for the Newfoundland legal profession. I’m serious.
I was sent to Osgoode on the orders of the Law Society of Newfoundland and Labrador as an ambassador for the Province, to boldly go where so many have gone before and failed to return. I was sent to both represent Newfoundland to the Far West and to gather information about your strange and foreign legal system to bring back to Newfoundland, so that it might profit from this knowledge. I’m serious.
My tuition may have even been paid in exchange for this information. In fact, I may have not even been admitted to Osgoode until I was interviewed for this task by the Law Society. After months of silence and stonewalling whenever I called Admissions at Osgoode, I was mysteri -ously admitted the day after my interview with the NL Law Society. I’m serious.
I was also told that I was chosen for the task, not because I was the brightest candidate, nor even the second-brightest (the fact that I was explicitly told this did little for my self-confidence, but who was I to look a gift horse in the mouth?), but because I would be a good ‘ambassador for the Province’ (Seriously). I took this to mean that they thought I could be easily manipulated into stealing Canada’s state secrets (which everyone knows are kept in North York) and bringing them back to Newfoundland. In that I have succeeded. So in the event that I never make it back to my Island Fortress again, and am in fact seized en route and have to swallow the pill of cod liver oil I keep stored in a fake molar in the event of capture (it won’t kill me, but it will taste so bad I will wish I was dead), I have published the secrets in Obiter Dicta. I think this is the safest course of action, since that is the only place I know where I can be certain no one will read them. So, my Newfie Brethren, here is a list of the things I have learned about Toronto. It may seem shocking and strange to us Island Folk, but I assure you of its accuracy. 1. Torontonians have no ability to communicate with strangers - I know this because I tried to start up a conversation with people on the subways and buses for the first few months of my tenure. They seemed frightened and wary. One even passed me his wallet, assuming I was robbing him. I bought some Twinkies with the money. They were delicious. 2. Lawyers here work in buildings so high, the OBITERdicta
they need to take an elevator to reach their offices: In fact, your ears will pop in the elevator ride up. This is in contrast to our law offices, in which you can jump out of a window on the top floor (the 4th) and not be injured. Which is especially useful when you need to escape from a talkative client. 3. Torontonians use terrestrial transportation: mostly subways and streetcars. The local authorities got very upset when I tried to row my dingy down Yonge Street. Backed up traffic for miles. Also, I didn’t catch a single fish. 4. Lawyers here charge in dollars for their services: Which I think is strange. The ‘threeflaked-cod-per-billable-hour’ system we use makes so much more sense. 5. Torontonian females wear a uniform: it consists of skinny jeans, high leather boots, some kind of scarfy-thing and a coat with a fake fur collar. 6. They have a different version of Tim Horton’s here: they call it ‘Starbucks’ and it sells the same beverage for 5x the price. But sometimes they put in extra milk or change the language of the cup sizes to keep everyone confused. 7. If you end your sentences with the word “By”, people get confused, and think you have ended the conversation and are wishing them farewell. Which is a good excuse to stop talking, if you ask me. 8. Parking costs money: I mention this because if we invade Toronto, as we shall eventually, it will be hard to find a place to park our warships. Which means we would end up circling around looking for a place and end up missing half of the invasion, which is annoying. 9. Winter ends: I could not believe that April arrived and I did not have to shovel my way out of the door. The nice weather has made Torontonians weak. But nicely tanned, I’ll give them that. Tanned, but weak. 10. Despite the scary stories we were told as children (to prevent us from going to Alberta once we reached the Newfoundland working age of five), Mainlanders are generally pretty nice people. Which is the most surprising part of my experience. I’ve met some really great people here. People that I will legitimately be sad to leave, even though I miss Home so badly. To those of you who have been with me since I started this whole law school thing (and some of you who I’ve met only recently): thank you. You’ve made a tough assignment much more bearable, occasionally even enjoyable. I’m serious. monday - march 26 - 2012
Zealous Advocacy in the Court of Public Opinion BURTON TAYLOR Staff Writer On Monday March 12th, Navigator Limited’s Jaime Watt came to give a talk to Ronald Podolny’s seminar class on Assessment of Litigation and Regulatory Risk. The topic of his talk was law and politics and the “cross pressures” that can occur when politics and law meet. For those unfamiliar with Jaime Watt, his day job is as the Executive Chairman and Senior Partner at the public relations firm Navigator. “When you can’t afford to lose,” reads the slogan on the firm’s slick website. The firm’s bold aim is to bring the “discipline of the ‘winner takes all’ in the environment of political campaigns” to business. For those who do know Jaime Watt, it is more likely than not that you know him as a political panelist on CBC’s The National and Evan Solomon’s Power & Politics. On Power & Politics, the affable Watt leads a segment called “Political Traction”, where he tracks whether a given political story in Ottawa has traction with Canadians across the county. With sets of colourful charts and charm, Watt offers insight as to whether political stories, like as Robocalls or Vikileaks, are registering outside the Ottawa bubble. On Peter Mansbridge’s The National, Watt sits as a member of “The Insiders” segment. Here, Watt joins David Herle and Kathleen Monk to make sense of the strategies of political parties in Canada. It is the political equivalent to “Coaches Corner”. Watt’s talk at Podolny seminar discussed how public relation firms, like Navigator, work beside law firms in making a deal. He did so by walking through the deal process and using examples throughout. Watt offered the failed London Stock Exchange (LSE) merger with the Toronto Stock Exchange and the failed PotashCorp sale as two recent examples of how politics can be as much a deciding factor in a deal as the law. The lesson from the failed LSE-TSX merger deal, Watt said, was that if the police don’t get you, the bullies will. He thought that a big problem going into the deal was a belief that the exchange merger would be seen as a business story in the media. This was not the case. After the proposed deal was announced, it became a contentious political story. And because this was not anticipated, it was hard to get ahead of, and it shaped the story. The story that formed around the deal became one of foreign control. Ultimately, the deal did not go through. Watt argued that the deal might have been more successful had been framed as a story about Canada’s integration into the global market. The takeaway from Watt’s talk was one that does not always sit well with lawyers—there are limits to what lawyers can do for their client’s case. And when closing the deal, sometimes the law is not enough.
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Obiter Dicta End of the Year Survey Results Well Ozzies, this is it! The last survey of the year! We’ve picked the most popular and best answers to your questions. Enjoy!
What’s the best thing that happened all year? • The New Building , JCR opening, Wendy Babcock Drag Show • The Obiter Dicta said this was the last survey.
• • •
What was the best Osgoode event this year? • Dean’s Formal, Wendy Babcock Drag Show, Ski Trip, Mock Trial What issue are you most tired of hearing about? • Occupy, Bill C-10, the Davies Ad, SNAILS and the library policy. • Issues? There were ‘issues’? What thing are you looking forward to next year? • Articling, choosing my courses, full year of JCR, not being in first year, clinical intensives What are you looking forward to the least next year? • Articling, upper year paper requirement, OCIs • No Fridays off. Or Saturdays. Or Sundays. FML. One word to sum up your experience at Osgoode (thus far, for those not graduating)? • Awesome, Better-than-expected, Dramatic, Epic, Ozception, Stressful… How many times were you buzzed during your Thursday night classes? (Thanks JCR) • 60% of the time, I was buzzed every time. • None… I behaved myself. • Personally by Shellnutt? 1000 times. • I had Thursday afternoon classes....? One piece of advice you want to give to those in the year behind you? • 3 years is short, make the most of it. • Don’t stress. You’ll get a B just like everyone else.
Go on exchange. Have fun and build healthy relationships here those are some of the best things you will take with you when you leave. Get involved in Mock Trial. GET OUT WHILE YOU STILL CAN. Slack off and do everything in March. No. Wait. Everyone does that already. Second year is more stressful than first year in many ways because you will be bombarded with distractions. Prepare early for the job process and try to keep in touch with people who are not in law who can keep you grounded.
How many classes do you think you skipped this year (com'on, rough estimate)? • Majority says about 20%! Best class you've taken at Osgoode? • Estates with Black, Lawyer as a Negotiator, Trial Advocacy, Real Estate with Rosenblatt, State & Citizen with Slattery, Evidence - with THE BERG. What's the reality show that got you through this semester? • "I don't watch reality TV, I live in reality" - Professor Johnson • Bachelor - but let's be honest, no way is that show reality. • Project Runway • The Walking Dead (that's a reality show, right? ... you mean that guy wasn't a zombie.. I may need a lawyer). • MTV’s “The Challenge.” - I follow that shit on twitter. For real. Do you have any suggestions or ideas for next year's Obiter Dicta? We added this question solely for us, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t print the following suggestion: •
1L Hunger Games
Legal & Literary Society The Comrade’s Manifesto COMRADE SHELLZ AKA BIG DAVE SHELLZ AKA STRAWBERRY FIELDS AKA PREZ AKA THAT MOFO, ETC.
Staff Writer This is my last communiqué to you all. Thank goodness, thank God, thank whomever you wish. On my end it has been trying, yet rewarding to write to the student body each week. Clearly I have enough to say but I have been perpetually self-conscious about saying it well. I hope that throughout the year these Obiter articles have been informative, uplifting or at least a way for student government to be more accessible and transparent for you. Thanks for reading. It has been a goal of mine, and L&L generally, to make student government more active, more responsive, more representative and more involved in student life at Osgoode. To that end we have made a conscious effort to support, in person, more student events. We are out of office next week and yet last night a few of us were at the Flaming Feminist Cabaret supporting Women’s Caucus (go next year cause flaming means hot, and it was). Whoever takes over next year I implore you to be involved, as a partner and ally, in as many student events as possible. Now this can be treacherous if not done with tact; you don’t want to hog all the limelight, so with care, be there and support. Student events are the lifeblood of the school, student government is not, always remember your place. Great student events require solid funding. This year we handed out record numbers in financial support to student clubs. I do not have the figures in front of me but it was upwards of $35,000 for the year. We did this because guess what, it is student money! The vast majority of funds in the L&L coffers are student levy fees. It was our opinion that we transfer as much of this back to students as possible. I am proud of the job we all did on this front. Is there room to improve? Definitely. L&L needs to have funds available for registered clubs as of the first day of school, not three weeks later. We need to have clear yes and no categories of what we can and cannot pay for. Speaking of cash-money, we re-opened the JCR. Sorry for the delay. Despite my socialist leanings, I have learnt how terribly frustrating and detrimental to entrepreneurialism government bureaucracy is. But, we have been in the JCR for a few months now. It is a work in progress I agree, but my hat goes off to Dave Meirovici for his professionalism and to all the students who class or no class came in on Thursday’s. The future of the JCR was realized when the Big Ass Drag Show transformed the space into something remarkable, I cannot wait to see what the future holds. To the new student government please keep prices low, the idea of the JCR is to be an easily accessible space that benthe OBITERdicta
efits students, not the budget of L&L. If patron shots ever go above $6.00 holler at me, I know a thing or two about protests and occupations. How about some fails and wishes for the future? I probably will have more if the referendum does not pass but that’s “next week Dave’s” problem. I wish we had done more to address the high cost of tuition. I am forever thinking about a young girl I met at C.W. Jeffery’s during one of my LAWS sessions this year. She simply asked how much law school cost to which I replied “$20,000 a year.” She laughed and the idea of going to law school was, in my opinion, wiped out of that 15 year olds mind right then and there. We pay too much. It’s prohibitive. While I commend the efforts of the administration to secure bursaries and support funding, there needs to be a discussion on why we can’t freeze or lower the cost of tuition. Bursary funding is great but that comes once you are here. I think there are too many people like that young girl who don’t even consider it because of the base cost. That future funding may be available to help you once you are in does not take away from the terror of having to sign off on a $60,000 line of credit. Please future government, ask the question: why do we pay so much? Another point where we could have done better: Bill C-10. Despite the near unanimous vote and on L&L/SC and the just over 300 signatures from students I wish the issue had played out differently. I learnt a valuable lesson after a poorly worded email. To be honest, I just thought it was such a no-brainer that this was a terrible bill; I never meant to shove my ideas on anyone. That misstep tainted the issue and allowed a counter-attack that in my opinion was loud and successful, to a degree. If, sorry when, more dubious legislation that engages issues we as law students ought to be engaged on, I would advocate for a more collaborative approach from the beginning. L&L should open discussions but step back and listen to others and then help the student body come to some position. It is our constitutional right, no duty, to take positions as a student government on important issues that affect our community. I would encourage working alongside student clubs to achieve more support. This is not to take away from what we did, it was a first step in the right direction and I am in awe of those that took an active roll.
With regards to the active role taken by student government this year, it is something that makes me smile ear to ear. The progressive and engaged stance we have taken this year is unlike anything I have seen while at Osgoode. We rallied against violence against women, promoted gender bending with a drag show, proposed a new position to focus squarely on equity issues, fought for academic freedom on Faculty Council, seriously debated the library as public space, and much more. From individual student concerns about York Security harassing students to committing to reduce the cost of the Dean’s Formal, student government was an advocate for all students at all times this year. It was truly remarkable to be a part of. I think the sheer number of candidates contesting almost all positions this year demonstrates our success in engaging students. Last year, L&L had one contested position. It has been an absolute honour to be your president this year. I have had the opportunity to meet many people that I would not have had I not been in this position. You are all remarkable and inspire me to work hard every day. There has been nothing more fun or exhilarating than serving you. To my successor, get in there, get your hands dirty and thrive off the energy that students toss your way. Support diversity, not just of people, but of ideas as well. Keep student government honest, keep it open and keep it active in our community. You cannot please all the people all the time, but if you do your job with integrity, modesty and with student interests in mind, you will do a great job. Thank you all for your support. Peace, I’m out.
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Obama, Iran, Israel, And The World As We Know It HASSAN AHMAD News Editor As many students, including myself, begin the dreaded month of April, filled with stressful paper deadlines and 100% exams, it behoves us to reflect on the fact that not in the too distant future there looms the possibility of another international war. This time the primary parties seem to be America, Israel, and Iran. Since World War II, the principles of deterrence and mutually assured destruction (with the ironic acronym MAD) have ensured that the world has not seen a major war between any major political powers. However, with the recent threat of an Iran nuclear program and Israel’s continuing existential paranoia, tensions are growing and words can turn into action at anytime. Speaking about the possibility of an Iranian military nuclear program, Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff,
although sharing the same concern as many within his government, unequivocally stated his position that Iran has only been conducting itself in a manner that is consistent with its best interests. In other words, Iran has been acting just as any other rational actor would. Dempsey, undoubtedly, took his fair share of criticism from the political left and right after he made those comments. President Obama, in a speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) unapologetically espoused his support of Israel while cautioning Prime Minister Netanyahu’s government that diplomacy should be exercised to exhaustion before any military action. Despite outwardly claiming to support Israel in any decision it makes concerning a strike against Iran, anyone who knows Obama’s previous views on the Middle East crisis or understands the necessities of pandering to influential lobby groups during election time knows that the US Government’s policy towards Israel after the presidential election will likely change. It would be surprising if Obama’s
second administration maintains its current level of support for Israel’s military aspirations against Iran—or any other ethnic Middle Eastern group confronting Israel’s existence. Leaving aside the current political positioning pre-election, a more important point to consider is why the Israelis, or the Americans for that matter, are so concerned about the prospects of Iran having a nuclear program—for strictly energy needs or otherwise militarily. America boasts thousands of nuclear weapons and is the only country to ever make use of them. Israel, despite its relatively small population, also possesses hundreds of nuclear weapons. Fears about Iran using a nuclear weapon against any of its neighbours are simply unwarranted, if anything else, for the simple reason that there is absolutely no evidence that Iran has any intentions to build a nuclear weapon. Furthermore, taking the Iranian president’s words that he would like “Israel wiped off the map” is Continued on next page...
Features Fake It Or Make It: How To Fake Getting Into Law School And Being A Lawyer KYLE REES & RJ WALLIA Osgoode News Editor & Staff Writer RJ: Well ladies and gentlemen, this is it, our final edition of Fake it or Make it. From the beginning, we’ve tried to provide you with the solutions and answers to life’s toughest questions that you may ever face while being in law. From vodka to scotch, wine and cigars, boating and shooting and a list of other things, we’ve done our best to make sure that we keep you well informed (not that well) and educated (not that educated) about a variety of topics. We had a blast doing it, to say the least. For our final article, we decided to give an overview of our knowledge of what we have experienced here. Both Kyle and I have come from different coasts on different sides of Canada, to the belly of the beast that is Toronto. We both have had our criticism and praise for this city, and now we think we can find a way to show you, Osgoode, how to succeed here as we have. Kyle: Let’s face it. For most of you, we have been preaching to the choir. You’re all at least class-B fakers, since you made it into law school. You had to bullshit ideals of social justice on your application, and then lie to all of your family and friends about what you were going monday - march 26 - 2012
to do when you got there. You even wrote a test (the LSAT) which is all a charade perpetrated by some old-school logicians who are annoyed they stopped teaching modal logic in reform school. So you don’t need too much more in terms of tips from us, you’ve already got the makings of a great bluffer.
RJ: Here’s some tips about how to fake being a lawyer. Depending on what kind of law you want to do, there are some universal truths (not at all truths) that you will need to remember and utilize in your career. 1. You can bill everything. Getting a water, buying a coffee, sitting in your office seeing how fast you can spin your chair, all of it counts as hours to be put to the client. (This is so not true at all and please don’t do this.) 2. A $2000 suit is absolutely necessary. People have the sartorial elegance in law to determine, in a glance, where and for how much you bought your outfit. Clients take comfort in knowing that their representative has gouged others as you have been gouging them, as it at least means you are experienced. Also, you want to show those other lawyers out there you mean business. Nothing screams success like spending a lot of money on fitted fabric.
3. Reputation counts for nothing. All that matters is that you win at all costs and if you can ruin another colleague in the process, go for it. I mean, after all, all you’re doing is thin ning out the competition. And if they couldn’t hack it, they shouldn’t be in the field, right? Sound like bullshit? It’s cause it is. Realistically, the biggest advice we can give is not to be a douchebag. You’ve got a lot of responsibility, an incredible amount of debt, and a load of knowledge that you don’t feel is adequate enough. However, if you’re confident, know when to ask for advice, and know when to make a decision, you’ll be just fine. I’ve had a blast writing these articles and I want to personally thank Kyle Rees for approaching me with this idea. I honestly think that, despite me thinking he’s a socialist fiend and he thinking that I’m a corporate harridan, we’ve got to do some pretty cool things. Also I’d like to thank all that we have interacted with in order to get these things done: Andrew Monkhouse, Nick Voight, Avery Dyck, Deana Toner, Stephanie Marple, Anna Koppelman, Jenn Biggar, Jess Mathewson, Marcel Malfitano, Laura Fagan, Pat Boily and the list can go on and on (if we’ve missed you, please don’t take it personally). They have all added to our enjoyment and we hope that you guys had a blast too. the OBITERdicta
The Unreasonable Man’s Definitive Retrospective Edition TRAVIS WEAGANT Staff Writer I’d say it’s been quite a year, but I’m not so sure. You see, this is my first time around the block at Osgoode, and I’ve got no point of comparison. Ask me again in March 2013, and I’ll tell you what kind of year 2011-12 was. Nonetheless, I think I can make a few objective statements about our collective experience that began seven months ago. We have a badass new building Granted, I never saw the old Osgoode, but I’ve been told that the new facilities actually improve the educational experience so much that anyone graduating before 2014 is going to have an asterisk on their diploma, corresponding to a footnote: “this graduate spent a significant amount of study time in undergraduate library facilities, rendering them prone to public displays of affection and noisy food consumption while conducting research.” To be fair, I’ve also been told that my own diploma will contain a warning that due to the amount of time spent in the new Osgoode library, I am no longer able to conduct research during daylight hours without wearing NASAgrade sunglasses. Of course, I would be remiss if I did not point out that the building would be infinitely more badass if it were actually finished. While the number of loose ends has steadily declined since the “grand opening” event in the fall, there remain a few blemishes on the pristine new environment. For one thing, the graduating class composites have been hung up and taken down at least twice, for no discernible reason. Also, the double glass door entrance next to the JCR has proven fickle indeed, being locked on an entirely haphazard schedule, and, more recently, malfunctioning in such a way that may eventually result in a broken window. Don’t get me wrong; I am more than satisfied with the impressive new facility. But unfinished is unfinished. War and Peace, despite being a massive tome by all accounts, is nonetheless rendered incomplete when some asshole tears page 297 out. Think about that next time you use the glass door. We have a badass new bursary I never met Wendy Babcock. From what I’ve learned from others, she was a woman of exceptional motivation and character. Despite not knowing her, I’m sure she would be pleased that so many people have made such an effort to raise funds in her name for the pursuit of social the OBITERdicta
justice. It’s been great to have a charitable cause that directly impacts the Osgoode community. It’s something I never think twice about giving to. I don’t want to speak too soon regarding the fundraising goal, but even the preliminary numbers I’ve heard through the grapevine are impressive for a student body the size of Osgoode, thanks in large part, I am sure, to the various events in the JCR. Turns out beer is the best way to get donations. Who knew? We made some badass new lawyers Third-year students, from the perspective of a first-year student, are smug and just a little too comfortable around Osgoode, what with their fancy jobs and lackadaisical attitude toward class attendance. Ok, not all of them, and not all the time. I suppose a few of them were at least partially responsible for such fabulous things as O-Week, getting the JCR open, Mock Trial, Dean’s Formal, and the Obiter Dicta. To think that in just a short while the masterminds of Osgoode debauchery will be real lawyers boggles the mind. Congratulations on finishing the law school gauntlet, and best of luck to you all. Now get out of here. We lost a professor Big news this Monday – erstwhile professor of Torts (and presumably some other things) Craig Scott is off to Parliament Hill to represent the people of Toronto-Danforth. Following in the footsteps of a bevy of other legal professionals, Professor Scott is living the dream – instead of playing by the rules every day like other lawyers, he gets to help make the rules. Congratulations, and watch for slow-moving Senators. If I may be so presumptuous, I offer the following words of warning to Canada’s newest MP: stay away from the sandwiches in committee meetings, they’re dry. Go for the cookies instead. We talked about the weather a lot I’ve never before sat outdoors on St. Patrick’s Day wearing shorts, a Tilley hat, and aviators. This was a positive experience for me. Nor have I ever seen Canadian snowfall fail so completely at accumulating to havoc-wreaking levels. This was disappointing. I refuse to engage in a debate about anthropogenic climate change, so I offer my own explanation: the apocalypse. Some of you may remember my January prediction – based on highly scientific polling – that Earth is going to explode in December. I can only assume that the strange weather patterns we’re experiencing are a direct result of our planet
pulling some Hollywood stunt like altering its orbit or axis. Why is nobody else concerned about this? I can’t possibly hope to mention everything that happened this year, and my deadline is fast approaching, so I’ll just quit now. Nevertheless, I’m confident that once I have a point of comparison next year I’ll be able to say that 201112 at Osgoode Hall was a good time, to say the least. And if it turns out that all of the things above constitute “just another year,” then I’m in for quite a ride indeed. Stay unreasonable, Ozzies.
Obama Continued... Continued from previous page... not reason enough to insinuate that Iran will launch a military attack against Israel. Admittedly, Israelis have valid reasons to be paranoid considering that the Holocaust was preceded by a dialogue of hatred and prejudice. But, to analogize the current situation to the one leading up to the Second World War is simply incorrect, especially since the Israeli people enjoy a growing state that is backed by many of the world’s most powerful countries. In addition, Iran, other than a few off-the-cuff comments by its president (it’s not like any American or Canadian politicians haven’t made some politically incorrect statements) has not illustrated any ideological instability characteristic of a country that will indiscriminately bomb another nation it plainly does not like. Iran’s human rights record and its insistence on imposing a draconian government system upon its people are abominable. But the fact remains that Israel’s and America’s current tactics are nothing more than fear mongering fed by the continuing desire to identify a political enemy—real or perceived. If my advice meant anything to any politician of any repute, I would say that it’s time to lay off Iran and give up the military industrial complex. I would say that it is time that Israel and America worry about their own economies, neither of which are doing rather well currently. These countries, as well as Iran, would do well to listen to the needs and desires of their own citizens rather than keeping the world in a perpetual arm wrestle in which every nation must concertedly pick which side they are on. So, if you’ve made it through this article, in between studying for exams and writing research papers, take a moment to pick up a newspaper or watch a current affairs program to further understand the dismal state of geopolitics that continues to hinder our progress on to a more humane, united and prosperous world.
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How To Approach Someone At Osgoode - Yeah, I know RJ WALLIA Staff Writer This is a topic that people have been asking me to write about. Well, when I say ask, the conversation usually goes like this... “If you think you’re so smart, how do you think people should approach others at Osgoode?” paraphrased and expletives removed. Fair enough. Challenge accepted. I gave this topic some serious thought, and to be honest, I was more nervous about writing this one than writing the friend zone article. Not because it’s necessarily more challenging, but that it seemed, at first at least, difficult to pinpoint specific answers which would make sense to everyone. Also, considering how many different situations happen at law school, it’s even more difficult to boil down a few answers and suggestions that can be beneficial to more than a few people. Be that as it may, I did approach this topic critically and came up with a few thoughts. Essentially, there are only a few ways to actually approach someone at Osgoode. When I mean ways, I mean scenarios at school where conversation is even remotely possible that can still be of a private nature. Private enough that you can try to get to know someone and perhaps pursue something with them. Here are my scenarios. At Osgoode Hall: JCR: The only place you can actually speak to anyone at the school is in the JCR and in the Library. The JCR is fairly self explanatory. It has areas where you can sit privately, you can keep a low voice so people don’t hear you at other tables but speak loud enough that the person you want to hear you can. Moreover, it’s bright, spacious and has ample seating. On occasion, it even serves alcohol, which may bring you some of that courage you need. Also, unlike the Bistro, you can actually sit here without being surrounded by a herd of individuals trying to get all their food into that tiny, tiny cafeteria. Library: Now, this may be a contentious one for people, but I believe that the Library offers one of the only places in which you can appropriately approach someone at Osgoode. It’s typically ok to be in close proximity to one another, which makes conversation easier. Moreover, it’s quiet and people tend to be focused on their own work. How then to spark up a conversation? Simple, you just need a study break. And talking to your nearest partner seems logical even if you’re friends aren’t there with you. As long as you’re not disturbing someone, you may be able to just pull this off and strike the spark that you were looking for. Leaving Osgoode Hall: A Pub: Yes, I know, I’ve railed long and hard in other articles about how you cannot sustain a relationship solely based on meeting somemonday - march 26 - 2012
one at a club or a bar. However, I qualify this advice with two things: 1) This article is about approaching people and 2) It’s Osgoode, where else can you find us? I’m serious, there is a large statistical probability that if you want to meet people from school, you have to go to one of the better known bars typical to where the majority of law students live or can get to. The Pour House on Dupont seems to be a bar of choice for some and is quiet enough that a private conversation between two people can easily be accommodated and is, in fact, encouraged. The TTC: Despite it being crowded, dirty, and the possibility arises of being attacked (yes, I hate transit), it does have one benefit, especially when you are leaving from York University; you have a very long time to wait for your commute. So, most people decide to read a book, or listen to their iPod, or just stare blankly into space, which is a look that is non-threatening and also avoids eye contact. It’s sort of a cross between “I don’t care about anything” and “Don’t fuck with me”, otherwise known as the Toronto Stare. At any rate, getting back to the point, the TTC provides a unique opportunity to actually engage an Osgoode student in conversation. Think about it, you’re probably at least in similar classes if not the same one. They’ve seen you around and are, on a balance of probabilities (thank you), not likely to think you are a creep. Plus, you have at least one thing to talk about. So if you can even attempt to engage in conversation, you can at least be putting your foot in the door. You can also try again and get them to warm up to you, as you clearly will be doing this at least for a semester. This is prime opportunity to see if you can start something with someone.
sense that this would be an awesome way to talk to someone who you want to get to know better. You get to chat about random class stuff as well as similar interests. Fair warning though about Facebook in general. It has the unique ability of telling you all the interests a person may have disclosed via their Facebook page, and also allows you to fact check any bullshit someone may be spewing at you. With all that though, I submit that Facebook chat is a viable option go get the ball rolling. The general theme throughout this article is about starting that initial conversation. The conversation content is all up to you. At the end of the day, however, it appears that people are unable to make that first step of actually going up to talk to someone. Whether you have confidence issues, are shy, or just have had bad experiences, the important thing to remember is that if you don’t make that move, things will inevitably stay the same. You probably won’t find your soulmate through the initial conversations, but keep in mind that all long lasting relationships started that way. Since this will be my last dating article, I wanted to take the time and just thank everyone for their input while I was writing and I want to thank my friends who have felt that I was trustworthy enough to share these stories with. Maybe someone else will pick up where I have left off because, if my 3 years here have taught me anything, is that this is a subject which everyone needs help in.
During class: Facebook chat: Let’s face it, almost all of us use it during class. It’s our way of telling each other jokes, highlighting various meme’s, and distracting Kyle Rees from focusing on his class while you sip on your Starbucks. So it makes the OBITERdicta
Cooking Kyle’s Cod Conclusion ERIC MARQUES Staff Writer I sat down for dinner with Kyle Rees in his Passy apartment to broker peace between our two lands. Stephanie Marple joined as my half-Portuguese backup. We also had editor Monkhouse, an Ottawa native, present with his European wife, acting as arbitrators for the respective continents. Ryan Heighton was also there as an observer, hoping to absorb some of the richness of Portuguese culture while also struggling to understand how Newfies can actually respect themselves. We began the ceremony with an airing of grievances, each representing our homelands. Kyle: Well I think you owe me and Newfoundland an apology for illegally fishing within our borders. Eric: I think you owe me an apology for getting mad even when the Portuguese fish just outside your borders, even if it is still on the continental shelf that’s largely within your territory. That's legitimate fishing, albeit to your great detriment. Kyle: Almost all of the cod lives on the continental shelf! Your mass, unrestricted fishing on the 5% of the shelf that sticks out into international waters is wildly destructive! Eric: While, we're on the topic, I resent bearing all the brunt of your frustration. The Spaniards are also fishing your cod. Simply because you have not reached out to any members of their community, I am forced to suffer all your full cod-related anger. Kyle: The collapse of the cod industries and subsequent moratorium has destroyed the livelihoods of so many of my people! I will complain to any culprit!
Kyle: Like that time you tried to serve mousse, but put in 10 times the amount of milk because you misread your stupid Portuguese recipe! Eric: I will not apologize for that sir. Those mousse shakes were delicious. And the box said "dl"! How would I know that deci litre and not deca litre? It's very confusing. Kyle: 2.5 litres of milk? Come on! Eric: I admit, in hindsight, it seemed like a pretty clear mistake. But we've had some good times at Passy too Kyle. Remember when we explored the fire at the organic farm past the Passy field? We called 9-11 and talked to the firemen! Bonding moment. A broment of sorts. Monkhouse: Hey! You guys told people I started that fire! I could’ve got in serious trouble for— Eric: Shut up Andrew. This isn’t about you. This is about reliving good times. Kyle: Good times? Like on October 17th, 2011, whilst at a bar, you promised me a drink. Where's my drink, Eric? Eric: "Whilst?" I don't understand the question, and I won't respond to it. Kyle: Ugh! How can you try to look back at our friendship when you wrote an entire article based on cod, attacking me, and attacking my people! Eric: Kyle, please. None of it was meant to be taken personally. All in good fun! Mark Freake enjoyed the one we did together. It's not always about you or your funny sounding backwards people. Kyle: Not supposed to be personal?! How about when you wrote an article about how you slept with my fiancé!?
Eric: In that case, I think you need to point the finger at your greedy fishermen too. Besides, if you go to Portuguese grocery stores, Canadian Cod is totally second rate to the far superior Norwegian Cod.
Eric: (Getting up) listen, Mr. Rees, I came here to broker peace. If this is going to work, I need to be given some leeway for my rather ironic blending of journalistic integrity and poetic license. Slight exaggeration in describing my concert date with your woman—
Kyle: I'm going to strangle you!
Kyle: (Jumping out of his seat) It was not a date!
Marple: Let's remember that you are both friends! You had countless dinner parties together when Eric still lived in Passy.
Marple: Now now gentlemen, settle down. The
cod is almost ready. We all know you both love cod. Kyle: Well I do love cod. Eric: A unique and delicious fish. Kyle: Remarkably versatile food. Monkhouse: Seriously though, that fire that was not cool! To think— Marple: Nothing brings piece like breaking bread together! The boys did eventually settle their bad blood. There were a few more bumps in the road, such as when Eric unwittingly wiped his mouth on the Newfoundland flag, and when Kyle caught him covetously staring at a portrait of Laura. Cod, in the same way it brings together onions, cheese, potatoes in various forms, brought these two men together. It helped that Eric finally succeeded in making a mousse-based desert, with Marple’s help of course. And while Eric is no longer allowed to be left alone with Kyle's fiancé, and Kyle can't complain about Portuguese cod fishing without equally calling out the "Spaniards," the issue has been largely resolved. For those curious, the treaty-brokering Newfie dish was Cod Au Gratin: Ingredients • 2 pounds cod fillets • 3 tablespoons margarine • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour • 2 cups milk • salt and ground black pepper to taste • 1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese Directions 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease an 8 x 12 inch baking dish. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add cod fillets and cook for 4 to 6 minutes; drain. 2. Melt margarine in a medium saucepan. Remove from heat and mix in the flour and milk. Return to stove over medium heat, and stir until thickened. Season with salt and pepper. 3. Flake fish into baking dish, alternating layers with sauce. Sprinkle top with shredded cheese. 4. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until cheese is browned.
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Arts & Culture
Hardcore Stress Removal WAX FATERSON Contributor
We all have our ways of coping with law school. I know a girl that bakes to shake away her stress, I know a guy who crawls under his bed when he’s overwhelmed with reading, and I know handfuls of people that cry in the shower during exams. My way of coping with academic stress is to go to hardcore shows. To the uninformed person, hardcore shows may sound like the sort of thing that happens at club Wicked downtown or the backrooms of Zanzibar, but it’s really more terrifying than that. What is Hardcore? Hardcore is basically a genre of music that the laypeople would call “punk”. However, believe me, it is not punk, and in certain circles calling it punk could get you some knuckles to the face. Hardcore is basically what punk turned into once punk got watered down in the 70’s. This dilution of punk continues on today and its effects can be seen in whatever the fuck Emo was, and is responsible for turning “Dookie” into American Shit-iot, so the relevance of keeping hardcore separate from punk is still essential. Think of it this way, you can buy punk at Hot Topic, however hardcore is the reason parents still warn their kids against taking shortcuts through alleys at night. Hardcore Style Although hardcore is technically a genre of music it also encompasses a specific dress, dancing style, and outlook on life. Hardcore kids can usually be recognized by tight jeans and t-shirts, 5 panel caps, an array of tattoos, and Vans lace-ups. However, the wonderful thing about hardcore is that it’s a very modernist scene. These kids change with the times. Even over the past couple of years hardcore kids have swapped unkempt hair for slick 50’s cuts and have even added some letterman jackets, and sharp Polo gear in the mix. As for the dancing style, go to Youtube and search “hardcore dancing”, it should explain itself. Other Hardcore Communities Within and around hardcore there are several factions of people. The most visible of these is the straight edge community (also known as “edge”). People who are edge basically subscribe to a “one life, drug free” mentality. This means they don’t drink, don’t do drugs, and don’t smoke (some really strict edge subscribers even consider caffeine a drug). This dedication to a “clean” lifestyle can be quite monday - march 26 - 2012
extreme at times. Some straight edge bands are known for knocking beers and drinks out of peoples’ hands when they play. In Boston and Reno “edge” gangs are known for beating up drunks that are found stumbling in the streets after last call. Toronto’s edge scene is a little more subdued; however, I still wouldn’t recommend striking up a conversation with them with a mouth full of whiskey. The Music To really get an idea of what the hardcore scene is all about its important to talk about the music. Here is a list of bands that you can start out with and see if anything urges you to check out a show. Fucked Up Fucked up is probably the most accessi ble and “mainstream” hardcore band to come out of Toronto. They are basically made up of six of the most awesome righteous people that built a band based on music rather than friendship. They are hardcore at their core, but in recent years they have been segregated slightly from the scene as they have moved more into the mainstream (sellouts? It’s argu able). They’re hard, but they have awesome melodies and terrific shining moments, at times it’s too perfect. Key Tracks: “Year of the Pig (US Edit)”, “Police”, “Queen of Hearts” Bane Bane has been around the block a couple of times. Coming into prominence around the late 90’s, Bane has run the full gamut of
hardcore’s ebbs and flows. Although from a current perspective their work can be seen as running a little bland, you have to remem ber that they made hardcore this, before it was this. Key Tracks: “Can We Start Again”, “Swan Song”, “Superhero” HOAX This band scares me more than Nette at an old folks home (what a terrible law joke, GD exams). Basically this is the haute band of hardcore at the moment. They are hard. They are scary. And they are mighty. The lead singer is known for punching or kicking people at shows who are singing or taking pictures in front of the stage. As well, he suffers from manic spells causing him to hit himself with the microphone until he bleeds at every show, and to have strange fits when not singing. I got kneed in the face at this show. It was very appropriate. Key Tracks: “Skills or Death”, “Down” Have Heart Have Heart is a straight edge band from Massachusetts that are sadly no longer a band (they played their last show in 2009). Some argue that they embody all that is quintessential to 2000’s hardcore. Their music is pretty straight forward, but is extremely accessible to all hardcore fans, especially the teenage edger’s with giant exxed out hands. Key Tracks: “Watch Me Rise”, “Armed With a Mind”, “The Unbreakable” ... continued on next page the OBITERdicta
continued from previous page ... Purity Control An X-Files Themed straight edge band?! Yup! This isn’t just a clever ploy, these guys actually know everything there is to know about the X-Files. They talk about the show all the time and during their sets they play the DVDs behind them. It’s not a gimmick. It’s real life. Key Tracks: Check out the live show they played at Siesta Nouveaux on Youtube. Other Bands to Check Out: Urban Blight, The Rival Mob, Trapped Under Ice, Ruiner. My Scene As I mentioned above, what really gets me through the stressful times at law school is going to shows and thrashing in the pit. On the whole I was introduced to the HC scene later than most (read: after my tweens) and have no trouble proclaiming that I am still learning its intricacies (am I a poser? That’s argueable too). Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy the music, but I really like getting into a sweaty pit and pushing until I forget about all my 8:30 classes. So before you pull out all your hair or decide your best option of passing Tax Law is to take a bath with a toaster, I would suggest finding your own hardcore. Find that thing that gets your mind off everything. Its crucial to hit the “reset” button on all this law stuff from time to time. If you ever get the hankering to join me and relieve some stress in the pit, get on the B9 message boards (www.theb9.com) or scour the Internet for upcoming shows. If you want to really test your Internet search skills I can tell you that the next show will be followed by a complete demolition and destruction of the venue. If you find out where it is, don’t forget to bring a hammer.
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Opinions Goodbye Toronto, Goodbye Osgoode NICHOLAS VAN DUYVENBODE Opinions Editor
law school experience. So much time wasted/ enjoyed. So much anger at the TTC.
As the last issue of this year, the articles in here are largely reflective of a saying goodbye to Osgoode and of course, looking back on the last 3 years. I, myself, will also be saying goodbye to Osgoode, but like many I am also saying goodbye to Toronto.
As alluded to above, what will be incredibly sad for myself, and the many that are also leaving Toronto, is leaving behind a great city (there’s also many other great cities in Canada!), as well as great friends that I have made in and outside of law school while here.
I’ve had an overall great experience at Osgoode. The school work did challenge me to rise to a higher level of competence and dedication (at times, sometimes I also just gave up and walked in the opposite direction), and being able to spend your time discussing ideas is always time well spent (albeit discussing ideas for less than 17k would be nice!). In this regard, while times have been good, I think I’ll manage to say goodbye to Osgoode and be quite ready to open up the next chapter of my life.
My hope is that we still stay in contact long after law school has finished, even if we live far across the country. I think we will and there’s a two major reasons for this. First, whether we like it or not, law school is a battle ground for admittance and this ensures some of the most high functioning (read in hardworking and hard playing people) that really endear to being fantastic friends. While there’s been a fair share of crazy under the pressure of law school, in my humble opinion, there’s a much larger share of awesomeness that I’ve seen over 3 years. While we will be busy professionals over the years to come, I truly hope we make time to see each other once and a while.
Not only do I feel quite ready to move on, it feels good to leave Osgoode now because it does seem like there is a renaissance, for lack of better words, occurring at Osgoode. A large part of this is the new building, which has inspired a community to start re-emerging. There’s also financial investment and new hiring of profs which are driving rejuvenation in the halls of Osgoode. I’ve given my fair share of articles that critique Osgoode’s administration, but to be fair, they do an overall great job at Osgoode, and they should get their credit where it’s due. Undoubtedly, our year leaving has a very different feeling to those from last year’s class (2011), who would probably say that their experience at Osgoode, including a 6 month strike and then 2 years of Osgoode under construction has left them with a decidedly different image of Osgoode Hall Law School. Oh, and of course, the miraculous ending of the bus to York, slated for 2015, my that will truly re-start Osgoode’s golden years! At Dean’s Formal this year I was thinking during the slideshow, to accurately have reflected the last 3 years and how we’ve really come together as friends, photo after photo of TTC trips off campus would have been a true reflection of our
My second reason is a little bit more utilitarian. We’ve established great and trustworthy relationships that we should leverage when out in the workforce. We’re undoubtedly going to come across areas of law with clients that we are less familiar with and with a professional network that we do have in the age of active social networking, while still ensuring client-solicitor privilege, there’s still no reason that we should not work to aggregate our skills and expertise on a regular basis. The only thing that can stop us is out own self-regard as being too good to seek out advice from fellow colleagues. So, as I conclude my 3 years at Osgoode, I am planning on doing everything that I still haven’t been able to do over the last 3 years. Up the CN tower, you betchya, Raptors game, for sure, having a few more beers on patios with the friends I’ve made at Osgoode, of course. I bid adieu to my law school experience, the Osgoode building, and of course the Obiter Dicta; you have been an excellent friend in 3rd year, with thought provoking, entertaining, and occasionally controversial content. Thank you. monday - march 26 - 2012
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